Date: January 6, 2000
CITY EMPLOYEES PRESENTED SPECIAL AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Miami Beach – On Thursday, January 6, 2000, The City of Miami Beach held a special recognition ceremony at Penrod’s Beach Club for a select group of City of Miami Beach employees for their achievements, service and dedication.
"On behalf of the City of Miami Beach, I congratulate the many employees who have dedicated themselves to the City and its residents. They are to be thanked for their contribution to making Miami Beach one of the greatest cities in the world, said Mayor Neisen Kasdin. "These employees, who have been with us for so many years, are an integral part of the City and each has participated in its renaissance. A sincere thank-you to each of you for your dedication and commitment."
The 1999 Special Awards Recipients are:
Civic Award Winners
David Plescow, Lieutenant of Police and Tasha Whittinham, PSCU Supervisor
In November 1998 a project was begun to establish a Telecommunications Academy that would provide professionalism in the field, a pool of qualified dispatcher candidates for Police and Fire Departments in the area, experienced communication personnel as instructors and a mock Communication Center which would be used as a learning lab. Since that meeting both Lt. David Plescow and PSCU Supervisor Tasha Whittinham have been heavily involved with committee meetings to form the Telecommunications Academy at the Miami-Dade Criminal Justice Institute. Lt. Plescow is on the Steering Committee, which is responsible for the overall project as well as the co-chairperson for the establishment of a communications lab. He has coordinated the donation of City of Miami Beach’s old communications equipment to the institute to be used in the lab setting. Supervisor Whittinham is the chairperson for the Instructor Committee as well as the co-chairperson for the Curriculum Committee. She has worked tirelessly in composing a curriculum and a training course outline for the Institute. The Telecommunications Academy is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of the year 2000. Twenty-six (26) college students have already expressed an interest in attending the school. The efforts of both of these employees will result in a professional Telecommunications Academy at Miami-Dade Criminal Justice Institute.
City Achievement Winner
Christian Behrens, Fire Lieutenant
Fire Lt. Chris Behrens has been instrumental in developing computer applications for the Fire Department, including the Manning database and the Rescue Transport Profile. These applications now allow data such as employee information, schedule information, unit staffing, station maintenance information, company training and building inspection programs to be tracked, maintained, and retrieved in a significantly shorter period of time. The Rescue Transport Profile stores and tabulates daily Rescue run information and is used by each EMS Shift Supervisor. Lt. Behrens volunteered to design and implements these applications and they have been an unqualified success. Most of the work for this project was done on his off duty time. The process has been streamlined, with savings in time being dramatic. The cost to the City for either IT or a software consultant to create what Lt. Behrens did would probably be in excess of 20 thousand dollars.
Laura Orozco, Information Technologist III
Laura Orozco has been instrumental in assisting with the computer migration from a difficult non-Y2K compliant Land Management System to the new and complex Permits Plus Program. As part of this successful transition, Laura went out of her way to help Building, Fire, Code, Public Works and Special Master with changes and enhancements. Without her patience, direction and ability to interpret the workflow the implementation of this new software would have been extremely difficult.
E. David Plescow, Lieutenant of Police and Larry Bornstein, Police Officer
Lt. David Plescow and Police Officer Larry Bornstein were responsible for coordinating the installation of the Department’s new Emergency 911 Communication system, newly acquired ergonomic furniture and dictaphone system. They assumed the role of Team Project Managers and worked with the multiple vendors associated with the project. The installation team worked together under the tutelage of Lt. Plescow and Officer Bornstein for five months and in September 1999 the project was successfully completed. The project was handled with the highest degree of dedication and professionalism, with their decisions and preplanning efforts resulting in estimated savings to the City for coordination and relocation fees in the amount of $120,000. Due to their efforts the City of Miami Beach has a state of the art Communication Center.
Thomas Weschler, Captain of Police
During the fiscal year 1998/99, Captain Thomas Weschler was assigned the project of renovating the entire Public Safety Communications Unit. He chose to view this project as an opportunity to also improve the working environment for his employees, including reducing work-related injuries. He spent countless hours meeting with supervisors and employees requesting their input and met with Risk Management on ways to help reduce the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome. He also researched information to ensure compliance with ADA standards, and on colors for the unit that would reduce stress. The efforts resulted in a Communication Center that is a pleasure to work in as well as an environment where innovation and concern to safety hazards has been exceeded.
City employees were also honored employees for their service. Serving thirty years with the City are Charlie Gooch, Laborer II, and Dave Bell, Public Works Water Supervisor.
Charlie Gooch began his career with the City in August, 1969, as a Laborer in the Public Works Department. He did the concrete work to make sidewalks and sea walls. In the 1970s, he joined the Navy for two years during the Vietnam Era. He came back to work in Building Maintenance, now the Property Management Department, where he was a "jack-of-all-trades" for approximately 15 years. He went back to Public Works as a Mason Helper, then on to Central Services where he worked with the printing and mail center of the City. He returned doing general maintenance with Building Maintenance before going to the Parking Department as a Laborer II where he began doing utility work before getting promoted to his current position as Parking Enforcement Specialist where his is now working the night shift.
On August 4, 1969, Dave Bell was hired for 90 days as a temporary Laborer. He did so well the Public Works Department said let’s make it permanent and he was hired to work in the Water Division. Seeing his potential, he was promoted to Pipe fitter in the Water division and on February 29, 1988, was again promoted to Water Supervisor, the position he has held for the past 12 years.Dave is known as the expert in fire hydrant maintenance and repair, fire line and water main installation. All who know Dave consider him a most dedicated, able employee. He will be retiring on January 21 and will be dearly missed.
Other Service Awards honorees:
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